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What is higher welfare food?

Making higher welfare food choices leads to increased uptake of higher welfare farming practices along the supply chain. This in turn leads to farm animals benefitting from better conditions.

Higher welfare food, also referred to as ‘humane food’, is meat, eggs and dairy that have come from animals farmed to higher welfare standards.

There are common practices in farming that don’t meet the animals’ needs but which are not illegal, e.g. housing hens in battery cages and confining mother pigs in stalls and farrowing crates. Supporting higher welfare farming means choosing food that comes from farms where animal welfare is a priority. By choosing products farmed to higher welfare standards and supporting farming practices that prioritise animal welfare, we can all make a positive difference to the way farm animals are treated.

Looking for independent certification from a reputable organisation, like the RSPCA, is a good way to make a difference to the welfare of farm animals. Through the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, the RSPCA works closely with farmers committed to raising animals to higher welfare standards.

The RSPCA’s standards go above what’s currently allowed under law and ultimately aim to improve the conditions for farm animals by providing an environment where animals can express natural behaviours. Battery cages, sow stalls and farrowing crates are not allowed on RSPCA Approved farms.

Find out more about the RSPCA’s standards and RSPCA Approved products by visiting rspcaapproved.org.au.

The RSPCA’s Responsible Sourcing information includes guidance on developing an animal welfare policy, procurement goals and species-specific information about production processes and how to analyse a business’ supply chain.

Some other useful actions you could take are:

  • writing to the Australian Government minister for agriculture, your state or territory agriculture (or primary industries) minister, your local MP or the newspapers, expressing your opposition to cruel farming practices
  • expressing your views to your local supermarket and asking them to stock higher welfare products
  • supporting RSPCA campaigns such as Choose Wisely which promotes the uptake of food from higher welfare farming systems, such as cage-free eggs. Use the Choose Wisely directory to find eating spots near you that source cage-free eggs for their menu. If your favourite eatery isn’t listed, why not encourage them to join?

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Updated on August 6, 2021
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